Dr. Guterson: I have all these lusts and fantasies streaming through me. Help!
Answer: I’m reminded of President Jimmy Carter who once said “I have lusted in my heart.” I imagine we all have lusts; that’s what helps propagate humankind!
One need not fall into guilt about one’s desires. The problem is when we act on our desires in ways that are ultimately destructive.
Infatuations can be extremely seductive and enticing. As a psychiatrist, I have witnessed the sad and tragic result of a spouse who gets caught up in an infatuation - which then leads to adultery. Soon comes divorce and then estrangement from one’s children.
There is wisdom to those who say one should never be behind a closed door with someone other than your spouse. And that includes emails and texts.
So, yes, live life with passion, lots of passion. Accept that you may have some "unkosher" thoughts from time to time. Just don't put those thoughts into action.
And then compliment yourself that you were able to push those thoughts to the side and control yourself! That way you turn lustful thoughts into a positive.